Wednesday, 3 October 2007

The Wedding Part III - Return of the Guests...

{EDIT} Just to say, I've only just realised that it has posted this with the date that I first started writing it in Blogger - I did only publish it Saturday night (13th...)

Final part of the trilogy now :-)

And given that it is now over a month since we got married, I really ought to get this published! (Bear with me - work has been manic, and it has been tricky to find the time to write) The photos all link through to Facebook, however you do not need to have an account to be able to see them...

We left the Westminster Suite to find that a few of our evening guests had already arrived. There was lots of chatting, quite a few photographs, and even a few tears from my aunt. It was very difficult to try to get round to speak to everyone - I really hope that I managed to, and that no-one felt like I was ignoring them. The band, Diabolus in Musica (we had Paul and David - shown at the bottom of this page of their website), once they had set themselves up, came out to play some pieces for us as we waited to be allowed back into the Westminster. They really helped to set the tone for the evening, and it was brilliant to be able to hear the tunes that I'd enjoyed from their album. Their whole performance was given in Elizabethan English - fantastic!

We also had to disappear (although I did delegate most of this to Emme) to clear our 'civvies' out of the changing bedroom and move through to our own rooms.

By the time I got back, pretty much everyone had arrived, and I was walking past the Atrium to hear John calling me through the second door. He wanted me to meet his friend Adrian, and we chatted for a bit by the Atrium bar. We were both so happy with the way the whole day had gone - "It's just been fantastic. Absolutely nothing has gone wrong!" John said, waving his arms expansively, and knocking the pint of beer standing behind him all over the bar. Fortunately, it was his father's, rather than the beer of anyone who would make a fuss...

Then the band announced that the Westminster was ready for us to go back in, and we headed through. The new layout was lovely - the long tables had been replaced by circular ones, and they had moved the runners across, added circular mirrors and put little candles everywhere. It looked magical.

Diabolus Paul (not to get him confused with Best Man Paul...) took John and myself aside to teach us a few simple steps (yes, called Simples) for our first dance. I had managed to completely forget the fact that we would have to do a first dance solo, and was a little bit nervous at this point... Fortunately the moves were very easy, and Paul told us that he would let us go round the room a few times, and would tell us through the music when it was time to stop.

So, we headed to the dance floor, and D. Paul announced that we would be doing our first dance. The music started, and we stepped forwards. At this point, for me at least, all co-ordination seemed to cease. I was juggling dress, husband and trying to concentrate on when I was stepping (and in which direction - front, left or right), and when I was doing the funny little lift... However, you would think that by the fourth or fifth time round the dance floor, I would have been able to get it right... However, it was all fun, and set the scene for the evening's entertainment.

This started by D. Paul getting as many people as possible onto the dance floor for another version of the Simples (this one including going backwards...) A very stately and genteel dance, and much enjoyed by those taking part - particularly shown by the fact that no-one really wanted to leave the dance floor when the dance was over. (and this was really notable throughout the evening - in most Ceilidhs that I have been to, the music finishes, and everyone instantly disappears to get a drink. Not only did we not lose that many people between dances, but after the dancing breaks, they all came back for more!)

Then D. Paul announced "The Horses Brawl." At this point, I couldn't stop myself grinning, because this was the dance that D.Paul had made us do in front of a Nottingham audience when we went to see them play so many months ago. Therefore we knew what everyone else was in for... Essentially, this is a dance from Tudor France. Along with the Simples steps, there is a section where, in turn, the men and women must raise their hands into hooves, paw at the ground, and turn round. It all looks very silly, particularly when the music started speeding up. But not as silly as the "Peas Brawl", where we were peas in a pod, 'popping' round the circle, or the Washerwoman's Brawl, where we had to scold each other.

In between dances, Diabolus took the time to show our guests how the hurdy gurdy worked, and generally kept everybody very much entertained. Rather amusingly, at one point, he was playing the hurdy gurdy over the pram of little Guy Sidney, at that point just over a month old. The son of our orchestra conductor and lead cellist was so used to music that he didn't even stir.

Whilst the music was playing, the Tortworth staff had also brought out the evening buffet, complete with fantastic butterscotch choux pastries (the only thing I could eat all evening - my adrenalin was still running high!) The cheese cake was also available for people to eat, though they didn't have nearly enough (we ended up with a shelf and a half full of cheese in the freezer afterwards!)

The evening really went by in a bit of a blur. Talking to family and friends, dancing, and just generally looking round at everyone enjoying themselves.

11 came round far too quickly, and Diabolus played their last piece. This was not a dance in itself, but a story in song - the story of Brave Sir Eglemont and the Dragon - acted out by guests Bruce (Sir Eglemont) and Jayne (the Dragon), and the chorus being provided by the audience. It was very silly, and great fun!

Then Diabolus left, and the guests started to leave too. Quite a few, however, stayed until 1, when the Tortworth staff rather plaintively asked us to leave, as they had to reset the room for a conference the next morning. Whilst most people went to bed, a few of us (including my brothers) ended up in the guest bar for one last drink before retiring. We ended up in bed at about 2 in the morning - the room provided for us by Tortworth was room number 1, which looked out over the gargoyles which guarded the entrance to the hotel. They'd also very kindly given us a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates (both of which we took home rather than consuming then and there!)

And that is the story of the wedding, in all of its glory and detail...

Sorry that it has taken so long to get it posted, and well done if you managed to get to the end!
(I will now go back through the previous posts and link some more photos...)

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